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Boqueria Announces Opening Date in West Hartford’s Blue Back Square

Boqueria will be opening on Oct. 16 at 46 South Main Street. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

Boqueria has announced an opening date of Oct. 16 at 46 South Main Street in West Hartford’s Blue Back Square.

By Ronni Newton

Boqueria officially announced Tuesday that the Spanish restaurant will open its West Hartford location on Oct. 16, 2023.

Inspiring by the cuisine of Barcelona, Boqueria will offer their own interpretation of classic tapas dishes, with menu highlights, according to the announcement, to include: “pan con tomate (iconic Catalan dish of grilled stirato bread rubbed with tomato, garlic and olive oil), pulpo a la plancha (grilled octopus with fennel, smoked pimentón and Picual olive oil mashed potatoes), and gambas al ajillo (plump shrimp cooked in chili-laced olive oil loaded with garlic and a shot of brandy for deep flavor and a hint of sweetness).”

Pan con Tomate at Boqueria. Photo: Liz Clayman

Of course paella will also be a cornerstone of the menu, and Boqueria’s signature paella de mariscos is described as “saffron-laced bomba rice, a generous topping of fresh seafood (including squid, head-on shrimp, clams mussels, and more), and salsa verde, with a perfect layer of socarrat – the savory, sticky grains of rice at the bottom to be scraped up with a spoon.”

No Spanish meal is complete without churros, and Boqueria’s dessert menu will feature the cinnamon sugar sprinkled treats with rich hot chocolate dipping sauce, dulce de leche, or nutella.

A selection of signature and creative craft cocktails highlights the drink menu, along with sangria and a robust selection of Spanish wines by the glass and bottle.

Chef Jonathan Navarro will lead the kitchen, and Julian Garcia will serve as general manager. The menu will be updated seasonally, and will highlight fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Boqueria will be open daily and will begin their service the week of Oct. 16 with dinner only, but will add weekend brunch on Saturday, Oct. 21, and lunch beginning Monday, Oct. 23. A bar menu will also be offered, and will include the Hamburguesa – a judge’s choice winner at the Blue Back Burger Bash last week.

Boqueria’s Hamburguesa was a judge’s choice winner at the Blue Back Burger Bash. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

Boqueria founder and CEO Yann de Rochefort worked in partnership with Mancini Duffy Architecture on the design of the expansive interior and exterior space, which totals 6,900 square feet yet also affords smaller and more intimate nooks for guests. There are also private dining spaces, including a 38-seat event area and a 24-seat dining room separated by glass doors, and which can also be closed off with a motorized, textured curtain.

The space, which most recently housed Greek restaurant Balos and prior to that was Besito, has been completely renovated.

The entrance to the contemporary space features a marble bar, rounded wood elements, and black and metal accents. The floor is polished concrete, and the custom light lighting adds a “refined, contemporary twist to the industrial material palette.” The open kitchen is framed by a backlit, fluted glass gantry.

Main dining room and bar at Boqueria. Photo by Kevin Galliford

“We have been planning a location in Connecticut for years and found a great spot in Blue Back Square,” de Rochefort said in a statement. “We’ve been visiting West Hartford for the last year and have been impressed with the local culinary scene. It’s exciting to be a part of. We’re grateful to all our neighbors who have already made us feel like part of the local community.”

Boqueria’s first location opened in 2006. in New York City, and with the opening of West Hartford there are 10 locations including four in New York City, two in Washington, DC, one in Nashville, one in Chicago, and a recently-opened location in Boston. Additional restaurants are planned for Philadelphia and Atlanta in 2024.

Hours will be:

  • Monday-Thursday: 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. (kitchen closes at 10 p.m.)
  • Friday: 11:30 a.m.-midnight (bar menu available 11 p.m.-midnight)
  • Saturday: 11 a.m.-midnight (bar menu available 11 p.m.-midnight)
  • Sunday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Lunch will be served weekdays from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and weekend brunch will be served from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

The bar menu will be available for happy hour, weekdays from 3-6pm, as well as of late night Friday and Saturday from 11 p.m. until midnight

Reservations will be accepted through Resy and OpenTable and seating will be available as of 5 p.m. on Oct. 16.

Boqueria is located at 46 South Main Street, West Hartford, CT, and can be reached at 860-222-9922.

For more information visit the website, or follow on Instagram @boqueria.

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